J. Bryan Burton, Chair
Even before I joined the faculty at West Chester University nearly twenty years ago, I was aware of its reputation for excellence in music teacher education. At regional music education conferences, I encountered members of the WCU music education faculty, working with several on various committees for these organizations, and learning from them about programs, concerts, and activities on the campus. As I visited schools in the mid-Atlantic region as part of my duties at another university, I met many outstanding, dedicated music educators serving with distinction in all facets and all levels of the music curriculum From school administrators, I learned that WCU graduates were held in high regard because of the thorough musical and educational training they received and that these students were almost always at the top of any applicant list. So, when the opportunity came to become a part of the West Chester University music education faculty, there was no hesitation. I was honored to join a distinguished faculty offering excellence in music performance, music theory, music history, and, of course, music education.
As a student at West Chester University, you will master performance skills, not only on your major performance medium, but on secondary instruments, voice, and keyboard., You will explore the structure of music through courses in music theory and trace the development of music from its earliest beginnings to the music of today through the study of music history and literature. . As you progress in your program as a Music Education major you will participate in a variety of performance ensembles performing in world-class venues such as the Kimmel Center (home of the Philadelphia Orchestra) and our own Performing Arts Center, Asplundh Theater, and Gates Recital Hall. You will gain both the knowledge and skills to become a highly skilled musician, the foundation of your music teacher education. WCU has a great reputation for professional faculty each of whom allow students to learn much through personal motivation and exploration.
Your training as a professional music educator begins with an introductory seminar exploring the history and structure of music education and opportunities to observe master teachers in area schools and gain valuable hands-on experience working with children during ongoing field experiences at all levels of music instruction. You will be trained through a variety of innovative and specialized teaching methods by professors who are trained and certified specialists, including Orff-Schulwerk, Kodaly Methodology, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, World Music, Music Technology, and other leading methodologies and pedagogical techniques.. Through immersion in these experiences, you will not only master each of these fields, but will be able to integrate them into the music curriculum and enhance music instruction in your classrooms. Further training in inclusive education, early childhood music, and integrated arts round out your preparation for a lifelong career in music education. Through these innovative practices and specialized training you will become certified to teach at all levels of classroom, vocal, and instrumental music, from kindergarten through high school.
To demonstrate your growth and abilities as a musician and music educator, you will develop electronic and traditional portfolios and web pages that will serve as a valuable tool to provide school administrators as you seek your first position as a teacher. West Chester University music education majors continue to be eagerly sought to fill teaching positions throughout the Mid- Atlantic region with a placement rate of far in excess of 90%! West Chester University graduates are also serving on the faculties of leading universities and conservatories throughout the United States and perform with leading orchestras, opera companies, jazz and popular ensembles, and as valued members of the music industry.
The music experience at West Chester University is more than just study and practice: you will experience the social and musical fellowship of the unique camaraderie present among the students and faculty. You will develop lifelong friendships and networks of professional colleagues that characterize being a part of the WCU musical family.
We invite you to become a part of this great tradition of musical and educational excellence that is the hallmark of the School of Music at West Chester University. Strap yourself in for an amazing journey! The work may be demanding, but the rewards are without measure. You are the next generation of music educators, making a difference in the lives of the students whom you will teach!
J. Bryan Burton, Chair,
Department of Music Education